Monday, October 16, 2006

Movie sound check

Here's a note from Gazette feature writer Deb Acord:

We went to Tinseltown Saturday afternoon to see "Man of The Year," the Robin Williams movie. The movie was pleasantly entertaining, but there was something wrong with the sound system - it echoed and it wasn't loud enough during scenes with lots of dialogue (and there were lots of those scenes).
An older woman, in the theater by herself, took on the task of fixing it, leaving her seat several times to talk with someone out front. Each time she returned, the sound was better - crisper, louder - but it never reached the quality that Tinseltown used to deliver. And in a movie filled with fast-talkers - Williams, Lewis Black, Laura Linney - you've got to be able to hear the dialogue.
This is the second time sound has ruined a movie experience at Tinseltown. At a showing of "V For Vendetta," the sound somehow echoed - it was only clear if you covered up one ear. Now that's how I like my movies! What's up with the quality control at a theater of this size? Isn't there anyone in charge of problems?


At 10:45 AM, Blogger Warren Epstein said...

I once did a behind-the-scenes story at Tinseltown, which gave insights into how this works. Here's an excerpt:

The system is so automated that once the films, the ads and the coming attractions are spooled onto the giant platters, all employees need do is press a green button. The projector will take care of everything from there, even the dimming of the lights in the auditoriums.
It looks easy and foolproof. But if you've been to enough movies at the megaplexes, you know it's not. Plenty can go wrong.
That's why projection supervisor Regie Marquez is in constant motion, striding through the hallways, walkie-talkie in hand, solving crises.
At 25, Marquez is practically a senior citizen here. Most of his employees, who earn about $6.35 to $7 an hour, are still in high school. ...
At Tinseltown in Colorado Springs, Marquez has two projectionists covering 20 screens.

What I wonder about is the new digital conversion going on at Carmike and Chapel Hills. Those projectors will make the process even more automated and fool proof.
But I'm guessing that some fool will still figure out how to mess it up.


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